Writing to me is a vast sea waiting to be explored, and the knowledge and skills I gained from the First-Year Writing course hold together like a sailboat, carrying me over the future adventures in writing. In this sketch, I break down a sailboat into five parts, each of them represents one learning outcome I achieved.
- Jib Sail: Writing as a Process
Over the semester, we keep returning to our previous writings to re-edit them into better texts. The Literacy Narrative assignment, in particular, shows me how writing is an ongoing process that requires constant reflection and revision to create good works. I paired this particular learning outcome with the jib sail because when sailing, jib sail needs to be constantly adjusted according to varying wind direction so that the boat can sail smoothly, which is similar to the continual adjusting in writing.
- Hull: Rhetorical Composition
The hull is the main body of a boat, holding all separate parts together. Similarly, throughout this semester we were able to explore several aspects of rhetorical composition. I was inspired to try out various mediums through assignments like creating comics & Halfa Kucha presentation. I also explored various genres such as composing a visual poem in the Human Document Sunday Sketch and writing an analytical essay.
- Daggerboard: Digital Citizenship
The whole course is structured around the idea of us being in an electronic environment, from setting up our own websites to posting updates online. Aside from posting articles, I felt the need to design my website to make it more attractive. I also learned to include engaging introductions in my writings and appropriately give credits to sources I used. All of these are big parts of digital citizenship and essential tools I can use in future writing, just like the daggerboard being the core that balances the entire boat.
- Rudder: Critical thinking
Just as the rudder steers the boat, critical thinking skills guided me through all projects of the course. Class discussions, peers’ works, and assigned readings all helped me grow as a critical thinker.
- Main Sail: Visual Thinking
The development of visual thinking skills is undoubtedly the main focus of the course. Trying for the first time to turn an alphabetic text into a comic, I was surprised by how visual images can effectively inspire me to revise my original essay. Besides, I was able to analyze visual elements in the comics we read and gain insights on the big picture from minor visual cues.
Lastly, after completing the course, I found myself a more observant and innovative writer. We were constantly asked to observe things happening around and incorporate them into our works, sometimes giving deeper meanings to everyday objects and events. Therefore, I start to pay more attention to every little aspect of my life and hope to find inspirations in an innovative way.